I began writing this blog entry on September 21, 2016, which is when it became clear that unless I had a SUBSTANTIAL amount of money that Italian Love Affair Tours could not be. It is now May 7, 2017, and a lot has changed, yet a lot has stayed the same.

At the time I felt as if my love affair with Italy was dying a slow, painful death. I gave up everything I had, except HRH, The Roman Dog, to come to Italy. I bought a car upon my return to Italy in May of 2016 because I knew this time I would find a way to stay legally, plus I had not had a car in three years – it was time. It didn’t happen, and additionally, I went through most of my money. By the time I left in October for the United States I wasn’t sure I was going to return to Italy.

The reasons I wasn’t sure if I wanted to return were many, but the biggest reasons were:

  1. Language – It is impossible to live in Italy when you don’t speak Italian. My hosts only want to speak English with me – no help there. I finally decided, ok, fine, I’ll just not return to Italy.
  2. Language – It is impossible to get anything done when you don’t speak Italian. Like selling my car. Or, buying a cell phone. Or paying that cell phone bill. Or earning some cash.
  3. Language – As soon as someone discovers you speak English the prices all of a sudden get jacked up. I’m sick and tired of being looked at like I’m Ms Money Bags.

And then…

Election 2016

I knew it was going to be a real humdinger of an election because when I left for Italy on May 2nd there were still several candidates vying for the republican nomination. Ten days later when I left the Canary Islands for Italy there was only ONE. How could that be?

Anyway, I decided that if the lesser of two evils did not get elected I would have no choice but to go back to Italy and make the best of it. The night of the election I registered for a TEFL instructor course in Florence. I left the US, with a visa this time, at the end of December. I went through the TEFL course via Via Lingua in January, got my Permesso di Soggiorno, and have been hanging out ever since trying to get my programming skills up-to-date so I can do what? Yes, return to the United States.

Now, there are things I really love about being here. Tops on the list is the food. Yet, I also hate it, because every single time I am here I gain 10-15 pounds. The yo-yo is an irritant. The food itself is not. The other top thing is the people. They are so warm, passionate, friendly, mostly accepting. Especially if you speak English. Even more especially if you’re American. Literally, I believe these people want to be American. Silly people. They complain about taxes here. They don’t understand being an American means no matter where in the world you live you must still pay US taxes. There are only two countries in the world that employ this taxation policy, the United States and some other teensy country. Stupid. I digress.

It is mostly an affordable country, much more affordable than Florida. Except in cosmetics and electronics. Don’t ask me why. It is an irritant. Eating out is costly too. But, wine is not. Therefore, drink up and enjoy La Dolce Vita. You can also rent a house here for the price of an apartment there. I bought a nice hard-top convertible diesel (which is cheaper here than regular gas) for under €5000.

Peugeot 308cc
The blue lines are where you park in Italy. Yellow lines are handicapped. You are now educated in Italian parking.

There’s really a lot to like about being in Italy! The way to make a living is not one of them. I have decided that while I could probably be a decent coder, it could be very difficult to find a job since I’ve been out of work for so long. Maybe I just need to try to find a way to do something here. In travel. Or not.

The new purpose of this blog is to talk about my journey from being 50, living my dream, studying loads of self-improvement and reconciling all of my dreams with what my mind tells me my mother would say I should do.

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